Futurists to Take Corporate Leaders on Expedition to India

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Join Social Technologies from February 29 to March 4 for an exciting expedition to Hyderbad--where the future is happening now.

In less than a month, a group of executives from some of the world's largest consumer products companies will be boarding an airplane bound for Hyderabad, India, guided by futurists from the research and consulting firm global Social Technologies.

From February 29 to March 4, 2008, the group will explore the capital of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh--a growing center for information and biotechnology, business process outsourcing, film production, and management education.

"With its rich history of Hindu and Islamic influences and its geographic location between north and south India, Hyderabad also provides fascinating insight into the mix of past and present Indian culture, trade, languages, politics, and religion," explains Natalie Ambrose, leader of Social Technologies' Futures Expedition program, who is leading the group.
The week will be packed with an exciting itinerary:

Day One--(Thursday, February 28)--India: Yesterday and Today
This first day of the expedition will be an overview of and orientation to India--and of Hyderabad as being representative of the changes taking place there in terms of history, demographics, economics, and infrastructure. In the afternoon, the group will tour the city, then discuss how it is changing and growing.

Day Two--(Friday, February 29)--The Changing Business and Retail Environment
Day Two will be devoted to an introduction and overview of India's changing business and retail environment. In the morning, the group will learn about the rapid change from "stalls to malls" and look for evidence of changing retail trends. They will visit traditional and informal market areas, as well as a modern high-end shopping mall.

Days Three and Four--(Saturday and Sunday, March 1 and 2)--India's Growing Middle Class
The weekend will be spent exploring the lifestyles, values and attitudes, consumer behavior, and adoption of new products and technologies by individuals and families through a series of home visits. "We will learn about how the locals spend their day, their leisure time, and learn about the aspirations of the middle and upper classes," Ambrose says. "We want to show the Expedition participants what life is like for local families in Hyderbad, so lunch and dinner will be spent with local families at their favorite neighborhood restaurant. In the evenings, the group will participate in popular local activities, such as visiting a local movie theater or a watching a game of cricket."

Day Five--(Monday, March 3)--India's Challenges and Opportunities
This day will be spent getting a better understanding of India's social and economic contrasts between urban and rural India and how the country handles "bottom-of-pyramid" issues. "We will learn more about some of the challenges for Hyderabad and India in the areas of education, healthcare, and the environment. We will also hear from local officials, NGO experts, and community workers," Ambrose says.

Day Six--(Tuesday, March 4)--What's Next? Possible Futures in India
The last day of the trip will provide an opportunity for participants to review, reflect upon, and synthesize what they have seen and learned. With local experts, participants will discuss emerging trends, possible scenarios, and wildcards for the future of India. Social Technologies' research staff will provide the travelers with comprehensive background information, and each day of the Expedition includes resource meetings and discussions intended to support individual fact-finding and to answer questions that emerge.

Who should attend?
Social Technologies' Director of Development Don Abraham says participation is particularly pertinent for professionals whose roles include foresight, trend and consumer insight analysis, marketing research, brand management, product development, and innovation/ strategy development.

"We have conducted several Futures Expeditions in the past, most recently to Shanghai last May, and consistently, participants tell us that the experience was unlike any other they have had in their careers," he explains. "Not only did touring an emerging market help them gain insight into that country--it opened their eyes and imaginations to other ideas that they then shared with their companies. I believe the Futures Expeditions are one of the most exciting, invigorating, and important programs that we offer."

Don't miss these other Futures Expeditions
Three more Futures Expeditions are planned through 2009:

  •     Moscow, Russia (Sept. 24-30, 2008)
  •     Curitiba, Brazil (March 5-10, 2009)
  •     Shanghai, China (Oct. 15-20, 2009)

For more information: Visit http://www.socialtechnologies.com/FuturesExpeditions.aspx, send an email to: don.abraham @ socialtechnologies.com, or call 202 223-2801.

About Natalie Ambrose - Futurist
Natalie Ambrose is an experienced futurist who leads Social Technologies' Futures Expeditions program. She has worked as director of emerging issues and strategic planning at the Council on Foundations in Washington DC, as marketing director for SkyTel International in San Juan, and at the AT Cross Company in Providence, RI, where she was responsible for marketing and sales of Cross writing instruments in Canada, the Caribbean, and Latin America. Natalie holds an MBA in international marketing from Thunderbird Graduate School, and a BA in political science and international relations from Duke University. Areas of expertise: Business strategy, foreign policy, the future of philanthropy.

About Social Technologies
Social Technologies is a global research and consulting firm specializing in the integration of foresight, strategy, and innovation. With offices in Washington DC, London, and Shanghai, Social Technologies serves the world's leading companies, government agencies, and nonprofits. A holistic, long-term perspective combined with actionable business solutions helps clients mitigate risk, make the most of opportunities, and enrich decision-making. For information visit http://www.socialtechnologies.com, our blog http://changewaves.socialtechnologies.com, and our newsletter: http://www.socialtechnologies.com/changewaves.

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